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BOOK IT: ‘Long Mile Home’ must-read story of Boston bombing

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image “Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City’s Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice” (Dutton), by Scott Helman and Jenna Russell

A new book about the Boston Marathon bombings last April is more gripping than a mystery novel, has more deeply drawn characters than a literary novel and is enriched by the details of a history book.
“Long Mile Home,” by Boston Globe reporters Scott Helman and Jenna Russell, is a surprisingly fantastic read.
The basic outline is well-known: Two brothers are suspected in the April 15 bombings that killed three people, seriously injured hundreds and caused utter chaos.
It’s the lesser-known nuggets, and the interweaving of the characters’ stories, that make “Long Mile Home” a must-read.
The book starts out with a beautiful history of the Boston Marathon and poignant description of its opening moments: «a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill on a twisting two-lane road, a kinetic rainbow of tank tops, radiant T-shirts, race-day costumes, visors, headbands, and hats.»
As for the Tsarnaev brothers, the authors write that the older one, Tamerlan, heard voices in his head and erupted at fellow Muslims who celebrated secular holidays like Thanksgiving and honored non-Muslims like Martin Luther King Jr. The younger brother, Dzhokhar, was a former high school honor student who foundered in his studies at college and became a high-volume pot dealer, they say.
The vivid descriptions of the explosions and the firsthand accounts of their aftermath are beyond chilling. The randomness of who survived and who didn’t is captured by a moment in which Krystle Campbell allowed a fellow spectator to take a prime viewing spot because her friend was closer to the finish line.
It’s an incredible story, and the heart-rending pictures in the middle of the book are a stark reminder that it›s real, not fiction.

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